The Right Lawyers for Possession for Sale
Possession of a controlled substance for sale is always a felony and drug programs are not available for this type of conviction. Other than marijuana, the most common drugs associated with possession for sale cases include methaphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy or mollies (MDMA) and prescription drugs. Possesion of methamphetamine or MDMA for sale violates Health and Safety Code section 11378 and carries a sentencing range of 16 months to 3 years prison pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h). Possession of a cocaine violates Health and Safety Code section 11351 and carries a sentencing range of 2 years to 4 years prison pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h). (Possession for sale of crack cocaine, however, has higher penalties). Possession of a prescription drug for sale could violate either Health and Safety Code section 11378 or 11351 depending on the prescription drug. Regardless of what type of drug is possessed for sale, these charges are ineligible for any drug programs such as PC 1000 or PC 1210.
Factors Associated with Possession for Sale
Very few defendants actually admit to selling drugs. Law enforcement usually look for circumstantial evidence that a person is selling drugs. Factors that police take into account include:
* Amount of drug possessed. Although a person may use drugs frequently, the police rarely believe that large quantities of a drug are for personal use. The more drugs the police find, the more likely they believe the defendant is selling drugs.
* Amount of cash. Police tend to believe that possessing large quantities of cash indicate drug sales are occurring.
* Ledger. Drug dealers sometimes keep ledgers or other records regarding sales.
* Multiple pagers or cell phones. Police believe that a person rarely has the need for more than one cell phone. They also believe that nobody should be using pagers in this day and age. Therefore, evidence of pagers or multiple phones appear suspicious to the police.
* Keeping the drugs in separate bags. Although personal users may sometimes keeps drugs in separate bags for the sake of convenience, the police believe that drug dealers will often pre-package the drugs into separate baggies for ease of sale.
* Messages on pagers or cell phones, especially text messages. Furthermore, the existence of special apps on smart phones that will delete texts will also appear suspicious to the police.
* Prior criminal history for drugs, especially prior sales convictions.
* Statements from buyers. If other people state they buy drugs from the defendant, then the police will believe the defendant is selling drugs.
Not only can a drug sales conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, school, licensing and immigration consequences. Having a conviction for drug sales can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job. Students can become ineligible for federal student loans with certain drug convictions. Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks. A professional who has a possession for sale conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place. Perhaps the most severe impact of a possession of a controlled substance conviction involves immigration consequences. Non-citizens who are permanent residents (green card holders) or temporary visitors, with a student visa or work visa, can be denied admission, denied naturalization or even deported, with any type of drug-related conviction on their record. In fact, drug-related convictions are considered one of the worst convictions for immigration consequences.
The Right Lawyers
Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing drug-related charges. Many people who face possession for sale are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment. There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of possession for sale of a controlled substance, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence. You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively. You need an attorney from the Law Office of Fred Thiagarajah.
As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah and his team have the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients. As a prosecutor, Fred Thiagarajah handled thousands of drug-related cases. Our team of attorneys now use this specialized knowledge of possession for sale of a controlled substance to get the best possible outcomes for our clients. For an example of our work, please see our case results and read our client testimonials. With offices in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Riverside, Murrieta and Rancho Cucamonga, our attorneys have criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
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